You’ve come to the right place if you’re keen on growing broccoli in our beautiful land of ours. In this article, I’ll cover all the essential information you need to get a bountiful broccoli harvest, from the best time to plant to preventing diseases. I included some videos, I found informative at the bottom. So, let’s dive right in!
When to Grow Broccoli in Australia
In Australia, the ideal time for growing broccoli varies depending on the region. Broccoli is generally a cool-season crop that grows best when temperatures range between 7°C to 24°C. Here’s a handy guide to follow:
- Northern and Central Regions: Plant in autumn (March to May) for a winter harvest
- Southern Regions: Plant in late summer (February to March) for a late autumn harvest or early spring (August to September) for a summer harvest
Nutritional Value of Broccoli
Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Here’s a table to give you an overview of the nutritional value per 100g of raw broccoli:
|Dietary fibre||2.6 g|
|Vitamin C||89.2 mg|
|Vitamin K||101.6 µg|
|Vitamin A||31 µg|
Common Broccoli Diseases to Watch Out For
To ensure a healthy harvest, keep an eye out for these common broccoli diseases:
- Downy mildew: Yellow patches on leaves, followed by a fuzzy white or grey growth
- Clubroot: Swollen, distorted roots and wilting foliage
- Blackleg: Dark, sunken spots on stems and yellowing leaves
To prevent these diseases, practice good garden hygiene, use disease-resistant varieties, and rotate crops.
Harvesting and Storing Your Broccoli
- When to harvest: Broccoli is ready to harvest when the main head reaches 10-15 cm in diameter and the florets are still tightly closed. Cut the head at a diagonal angle, 5 cm below the head.
- Storage: Store fresh broccoli in a loose plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Properly stored, it can last for up to 2 weeks.
- Freezing: To extend the shelf life, blanch the broccoli florets for 3-4 minutes in boiling water, then cool them quickly in an ice bath. Drain well and store in airtight freezer bags or containers. Frozen broccoli can last up to 12 months.
Blanch the broccoli florets for 3-4 minutes in boiling water, then cool them quickly in an ice bath. Drain well and store in airtight freezer bags or containers. Frozen broccoli can last up to 12 months.
10 Tasty Broccoli Recipes to Try
How to turn Growing Broccoli into ca$h?
Here are some creative ideas to help you turn your love for broccoli into a profitable venture:
- Sell seedlings: Start broccoli seeds in small containers or trays and sell the seedlings to local gardeners, farmers’ markets, or garden centres. This can save customers time and effort and give them a healthy garden start.
- Fresh produce sales: Grow and harvest high-quality broccoli, then sell the fresh produce at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, or directly to local restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores. You could even offer a subscription-based service where customers receive a regular delivery of fresh, seasonal produce.
- Value-added products: Create unique, delicious products using your homegrown broccoli. Examples include pickled broccoli, broccoli pesto, dehydrated broccoli snacks, or even broccoli-based sauces. Sell these products online, at farmers’ markets, or in specialty food stores.
- Grow specialty varieties: Cultivate unique or heirloom broccoli varieties that are not readily available in grocery stores. Market these to gardening enthusiasts, foodies, or local chefs interested in using unusual ingredients.
- Educational workshops: Share your knowledge and passion for growing broccoli by offering workshops or classes on how to grow, harvest, and cook with broccoli. You can conduct these workshops in person, online, or through community centres and local schools.
- Garden consultations: Offer your expertise as a broccoli-growing consultant, helping clients design, set up, and maintain their own broccoli gardens. You can provide guidance on plant selection, soil preparation, and pest control, ensuring their gardens flourish.
- Broccoli seed sales: Save seeds from your healthiest and most productive broccoli plants, package them, and sell them online, at garden centres, or farmers’ markets. Be sure to provide detailed growing instructions and any unique selling points for each variety.
- Garden-to-table events: Organise and host farm-to-table dinners or cooking classes that showcase your freshly harvested broccoli. Collaborate with local chefs or food bloggers to create mouth-watering menus and promote the event to food enthusiasts in your area